As I get older (or as I mature, I guess), I've noticed that I have to change many of my long-established habits. Some of it is health-related, like brushing with a Sonicare toothbrush because my gums are "thin." Some of it is appearance-related, like applying lotion like it's my job if I don't want my skin to look like an elephant's. Much of it is kid-related. And some of it is sheer willpower to positively change my life and my impact in this world.
I've written about my return to biking before. I was inspired by several people last spring to start commuting by bike again, including a former student, a former co-worker and a friend who are all committed to driving less and riding more. However, my biggest motivator was Benny. It's hard to say no to a four and a half year old begging to go for a bike ride - every day.
When Benny was two, Nate and I took a vacation to Sonoma. We spent a day biking to various wineries. That was in 2009. I didn't hop back on a bike until 2012 (seriously).
It's taken nearly nine months, but I have finally reprogrammed my brain to commute by bike rather than by car. For example, a friend and I were going to see an author speak last week. She was driving to south Denver and I was meeting her at her house - a mile away. Despite the chill in the air and early darkness, I traveled by bike.
Last week, on a sunny, gorgeous day, I opted to run errands on my lunch break. Six miles and four stops later, I was back home and ready to work. Not long ago, I would have happily hopped in the car to run those errands.
Old habits die hard. But new habits aren't impossible to cultivate either.